Volume 52 Number 09
                    Produced: Wed Jun  7  6:08:36 EDT 2006

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Adler Machzor (2)
         [P Minden, Martin Stern]
Midrash online
         [Brandon Raff]
New Israeli Educational Stamps Posted Online
         [Jacob Richman]
No Plans for Parnasa
         [Martin Stern]
Several Items
         [Rabbi Meir Wise]
Source for Multiple Worlds
         [Russell Jay Hendel]
Women saying kaddish (4)
         [Martin Stern, Martin Stern, Esther Posen, Russell Jay Hendel]


From: P Minden <phminden@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 12:09:48 +0200
Subject: Re: Adler Machzor

Nathan Lamm wrote:
> One more note: It seems that one minhag is to say Av Harachamim only  
> twice a year, before Shavuot (Sefirah?) and Tisha B'Av, I think. This  
> would explain its absence before Yikzor.

Trei desasrei (contradiction): Minneg Ashkenez, which has Av horachamim
only on the two Shvartz Shabbosem ("Black Sabbaths"), doesn't know
Yizker, which was introduced from Minneg Polen only very late, if at
all, or only on Yom kipper.


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 08:50:38 +0100
Subject: Adler Machzor

On Mon, 5 Jun 2006 11:17:55 -0700 (PDT), Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...>
> One more note: It seems that one minhag is to say Av Harachamim only
> twice a year, before Shavuot (Sefirah?) and Tisha B'Av, I think. This
> would explain its absence before Yikzor.

This is the minhag of Jews from South and West Germany (also Holland,
Alsace, Switzerland and the Italian Ashkenazim). However in that rite
Yizkor is not said on the Regalim at all so this cannot be the source
for the absence of Av Harachamim in the Adler Machzor. Also the latter
is based on the English minhag which derives from that of North Germany
(specifically Hamburg) where it is said on almost every Shabbat. I take
it that Nochum made a typo when he wrote "its absence before Yikzor" and
really meant "its absence after Yikzor".

Martin Stern


From: Brandon Raff <Brandon@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 11:13:19 +0200
Subject: Midrash online

>From: M Burns <ListMail@...>
>   Is there a site where I can find an English translation of the
>original text of the Midrash? All I have found so far is modern
>commentaries that quote passages from the Midrash, but nothing that
>gives the original text in its entirety.
>   In particular, I am looking for the story of when Avram smashed the
>idols in his father's shop. I have found the story retold in a number
>of places and I have seen it attributed to "Midrash Bereishit 38:13". I
>would like to read the story in the context of the original set of
>writings in which it appeared. Is this available anywhere online?


I have bought the complete Soncino Classics on CD from Davka
Corporation.  These collections appear to be the literal translation you
ask about.

As for the text you are looking for, it is Midrash Rabbah - Bereishit
38:13 and reads as follows (courtesy of Soncino):

Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XXXVIII:13

28). R. Hiyya said: Terah was a manufacturer of idols. He once went away
somewhere and left Abraham to sell them in his place. A man came and
wished to buy one. '  How old are you? ' Abraham asked him. ' Fifty
years,' was the reply. ' Woe to such a man!' he exclaimed, 'you are
fifty years old and would worship a day-old object! ' At this he became
ashamed and departed. On another occasion a woman came with a plateful
of flour and requested him, ' Take this and offer it to them.' So he
took a stick, broke them, and put the stick in the hand of the
largest. When his father returned he demanded, 'What have you done to
them?' 'I cannot conceal it from you,' he rejoined.  'A woman came with
a plateful of fine meal and requested me to offer it to them. One
claimed, " I must eat first," while another claimed, " I must eat
first." Thereupon the largest arose, took the stick, and broke them.'
'Why do you make sport of me,' he cried out; 'have they then any
knowledge!'  'Should not your ears listen to what your mouth is saying,'
he retorted.(1) Thereupon he seized him and delivered him to
Nimrod. 'Let us worship the fire!' he [Nimrod] proposed. ' Let us rather
worship water, which extinguishes the fire,' replied he. ' Then let us
worship water! ' ' Let us rather worship the clouds which bear the
water. ' ' Then let us worship the clouds! ' ' Let us rather worship the
winds which disperse the clouds.' '  Then let us worship the wind!' '
Let us rather worship human beings, who withstand the wind.' 'You are
just bandying words,' he exclaimed; 'we will worship nought but the
fire. Behold, I will cast you into it, and let your God whom you adore
come and save you from it.' Now Haran was standing there undecided. If
Abram is victorious, [thought he], I will say that I am of Abram's
belief, while if Nimrod is victorious I will say that I am on Nimrod's
side. When Abram descended into the fiery furnace and was saved, he
[Nimrod] asked him, 'Of whose belief are you?' 'Of Abram's,' he replied.
Thereupon he seized and cast him into the fire; his inwards were
scorched and he died in his father's presence. Hence it is written, AND

(1) You deny their knowledge and yet you worship them.
(2) The Rabbis translate 'al pene' because of: he died because his father 
manufactured idols.



From: Jacob Richman <jrichman@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 00:11:57 +0200
Subject: New Israeli Educational Stamps Posted Online

Hi Everyone!

I scanned and posted on my website the new Israeli stamps that were
issued in May 2006.  I included the stamp itself, the first day cover,
and an English and a Hebrew flyer about the stamp.

- Mosaic, 3rd Century, Megiddo 
- The Solar System
- Yad Lashiryon - Memorial Site
- Tel Aviv University - 50 Years 
- Israel Post
- Flowers - "My Own Stamp"

The new stamps are located at:

If you do not see June 6, 2006 on the top of the page, hold the control
key and press the F5 key to refresh your browser.

Have a good day,


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 06:54:42 +0100
Subject: Re: No Plans for Parnasa

On Mon, 5 Jun 2006 07:04:04 EDT, <FriedmanJ@...> wrote
> All I can say about this new trend of never going to work, and sitting
> and "learning" all day is that it has absolutely nothing to do with
> being a Torah Jew, it is the most misguided way of living anyone ever
> thought up, and I hope, I sincerely hope, that any American authorities
> who determine whether or not families get welfare money should 100% not
> grant those men a nickel.
> As for the rabbis who demand that people not go to work, someone should
> straighten them out as well. We all know and have discussed the problems
> that this causes for men who aren't "learners" and there have been
> enough suicides and people who have left Judaism altogether to prove it.

Has Jeanette not realised that in certain circles the word "work" is
considered as one of those four letter words of Anglo-Saxon origin not
used in polite company? This terrible phenomenon of "Bittul ba'al
habayit - despising those not in full time learning (unless they
'redeem' themselves by paying excessive sums to subsidise those who
are)" will eventually lead to disaster. Of course we need an elite of
serious full-time learners but I am dubious as to whether all doing so
are really of the right calibre rather than just jumping onto a
prestigious bandwagon.

Martin Stern


From: <Meirhwise@...> (Rabbi Meir Wise)
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 02:40:00 EDT
Subject: Re: Several Items

I apologise for lumping my responses together due to pressure of work.

1. The Shulchan Aruch followed the order of the Tur rather than the
Rambam, so to understand why a halacha is in a certain place one should
find it in the Ramabam and then note the difference in the Tur. The Tur
wrote introductions to the 4 sections in which he relates the origin of
his work and the logic behind the divisions.  For those who cannot read
these introductions Rabbi Berel Wein summarises them in English on his
tape on the Tur.

2. When the Shulchan Aruch speaks of 10 shops most people think of a
line of shops as we have them today. It is more helpful to think of 10
stalls within one shop (market) 9 of which sell kosher and one of which
sells treife.  If one buys from a stall but is not sure which stall a
chesron yedia is created (either it was a kosher stall or a treife
stall) (lack of knowledge) not a doubt at the source. Not all lacks of
knowledge are irresolvable.  A piece of meat found in the street has
"moved away" and we presume come away from the majority of the stalls -
hence the law of "rov" .

The correspondents on kaddish seem to contradict themselves. According
to the Rema - the old custom of ashkenaz was that one man said kaddish
and the other mourners answered. So the answer to the question "would a
man be happy saying only one kaddish?" is yes, probably delighted!
Having said that, the custom in the UK is that women do not say kaddish.
This was a question raised in my semicha exam so many years ago by the
late Chief Rabbi Jakobovits , Harav Turetsky and yibodel lechayyim Chief
Rabbi Sacks.

Rabbi Meir Wise, London


From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 02:28:47 GMT
Subject: RE: Source for Multiple Worlds

This (God created Multiple worlds before creating this one) is discussed
in my article, "Genesis 1 speaks about the creation of Prophecy not the
World,"which may be reviewed on the Rashi website at the url below.

In the article I cite an English translation of the Zohar as the best
source for this midrash(There are several others). The Zohar learns this
from Gn01-02 "And the world HAD ALREADY BEEN Void and formless with
darkness over the deep and only the Spirit of Prophecy hovering over the

Here the translation HAD ALREADY BEEN comes from the grammatical rule
that the past conjugation in Hebrew should be translated as past perfect
(Had already) while the future conjugation with a prefix vav should be
translated as ordinary past. The translation "Spirit of Prophecy" is
based on the standard translation of this phrase in almost all other
Biblical occurrences.

Russell Jay Hendel; Ph.d; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/gen-1.htm


From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 08:44:36 +0100
Subject: Women saying kaddish

On Tue, 06 Jun 2006 01:53:14 +0000 (GMT), <casinger@...> (Carl
Singer) wrote:

> Amazingly, mearly everyone seems to be missing the point.
> Everyone seems to jump quickly to remind us of what we all know -- that
> women do not have to say kaddish AND that one kaddish per day is
> halachically sufficient.
> Let's talk to the second point first.  How many men do you know who
> would be "satisfied" with saying the bare minimum one kaddish per day.
> For example, if there was no minyan until borchu and again after none
> after aleynu.  It's not an issue of hiddur mitzvah it's one of meeting
> emotional needs.

As it happens, I would be satisfied even if I could not say even one
kaddish because there were so many other aveilim with higher precedence
in my shul where only one person says each kaddish. NOT saying kaddish
under such circumstances is a greater honour for the departed than
forcing oneself on the tsibbur to say it (see Kitsur Shulchan Arukh)

> Now let's turn our attention to the woman who is coping with the death
> of a parent and feels an emotional need to say kaddish.  Should we brush
> her aside telling her, "there, there -- there is no halachic need for
> you to say kaddish" or should we endeavor to have a man at the minyan
> say kaddish during the minyan so that she, too, can recite it.

Of course, but this should be restricted to the Aleinu kaddish which is
customarily said in many congregations even where there is no aveil
present.  Saying any more might come under the problem of marbei

Martin Stern

From: Martin Stern <md.stern@...>
Date: Wed, 07 Jun 2006 08:50:50 +0100
Subject: Women saying kaddish

On Mon, 5 Jun 2006 22:09:03 -0400 Joseph Kaplan <penkap@...> wrote:
> Quite frankly, had someone told her, no matter how tactfully and
> empathetically, that she should not say kaddish and that it is a much
> greater zekhut for her parent to do extra chessed in his memory rather
> than say kaddish, she would have been deeply hurt.  As I would have been
> had someone said that to me during the past almost 11 months that I have
> been saying kaddish for my father.

Joseph is misquoting me when he writes that I said a woman "should not
say kaddish". I did not express an opinion on the permissibility, or
otherwise, of so doing. What I meant was that doing extra chessed in
memory of the departed was a preferred alternative and that applies to
men as well as women (see Kitsur Shulchan Arukh).

Martin Stern

From: Esther Posen <eposen@...>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2006 21:57:38 -0400
Subject: RE: Women saying kaddish

I quote from an earlier post "It's not an issue of hiddur mitzvah it's
one of meeting emotional needs." Mitzvot are not given to us to fill our
emotional needs, though an act of chesed could fill the emotional need
of the recipient of the chesed.

Esther Posen

From: Russell Jay Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Wed, 7 Jun 2006 02:34:21 GMT
Subject: RE: Women saying kaddish

The following is based on a lecture by Rabbi Dr Joseph Baer
Soloveitchick, the Rav. The Rav pointed out, based on the texts of
prayer books, that during the atrocities of the crusades several prayer
responses developed: a) Rosh Hashana prayers became more sombre (Before
they had been more festive) b) sefirah mourning intensified c) Kaddish
for parents became prevalent.

The Rav suggested that the Kaddish served to bind young children to the
community after having lost 1 or both parents to massacres.

Based on this the Kaddish serves a primarily social need: It prevents
defection from people who are bitter about death. While good deeds are
certainly more important than words (no one disputes that) nevertheless
"form" tends to have a more binding affect on people. The "form" of
saying Kaddish in synagogue is so to speak an official duty.

Consequently, since men and woman are equal in their need to address
doubt and bitterness I would strongly encourage women to say Kaddish
with a primary emphasis of "keeping them in the community."

While on the subject of Kaddish I might share my own recent experiences.
My mother, may she rest in peace, passed away Rosh Chodesh Nissan. I had
several discussions on how often I should try and say Kaddish. My basic
response based on the above analysis is that since I am already tied to
the Jewish community (thru synagogues, charity organizations and Torah
institutions like mljewish:)) I see no reason to borrow time from my
other activities and therefore I am continuing to go to synagogue at the
same pace I do the rest of the year. I emphasize that this "opinion" of
mine is based on the above analysis which places the primary emphasis in
Kaddish on social affects--the retention of Jews (or Jewesses) within
the community

Russell Jay Hendel; http://www.Rashiyomi.com/


End of Volume 52 Issue 9